Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Congratulations President-Elect Obama

World leaders hail the victory of Barack Obama in the US presidential election, as outgoing President George W Bush promises a smooth transition of power


Photo: BBC November 5, 2008: World leaders hail Obama triumph
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Rob Crilly takes the goat

British freelance journalist Rob Crilly writes about Africa for The Times, The Irish Times, The Daily Mail, The Scotsman and The Christian Science Monitor from his base in Nairobi, Kenya. Here are some of his photos from Kenya, posted at his great blog at From The Frontline.

From Rob's blog post November 4, 2008:

Always Take a Goat to the Party

So how do you make friends with the Obama family and ensure access to all the key players in Kenya as their relative vies to become the most powerful man in the world? The answer, of course, is always, always take a goat to the party.

I found John for sale at the side of the road. My driver said he was just what I wanted: Big bellied and large-testicled meant he would make excellent nyama choma (roasted meat). And for 2500 shillings he was something of a bargain.

It goes without saying that Abongo Malik Obama, Obama’s elder half-brother, was delighted. And I’ve got a rather nice feature.

There’s only one thing to take to a Kenyan election victory feast: a goat. Preferably still breathing - “a sign of freshness“ - and with big testicles, apparently the sign of quality breeding.

And so it was that I found myself bouncing along a dirt track towards the ancestral home of the Obamas in a saloon car with the sound of John the goat bleating miserably from the boot.
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The press pack in Kogelo, Kenya

From Rob's blog post November 3, 2008:

Hack Attack

The press pack at Barack Obama’s ancestral home is growing steadily. Today there must have been a good 30 or so hacks assembled for the 11am press conference to hear Abongo Malik Obama (half brother to Barack Obama) say there would be no more press conferences. Fair enough, I suppose. The family has no doubt had enough of the confusion, noise and disruption caused when more than two journalists are assembled in a single place. But I can’t help thinking the last thing anyone wants is a bunch of bored journalists hanging around trying to amuse themselves.
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Obama’s ancestral home in Kogelo, Kenya

From Rob's blog post November 2, 2008:

Change We Can Believe In

There have been a few changes recently in Kogelo, the rural homestead that the Kenyan branch of the Obama family calls home. Four years ago I made my way down a bumpy, rutted dirt track to find Granny Sarah’s little house. I was met by Said, one of her youngest sons (and a half-uncle to Barack Obama), and we spent a couple of hours on her sofas chatting about what might happen if “Barry” won a seat in the Senate. Chickens wandered in and out of the sitting room and neighbours dropped by, wondering why a mzungu was visiting. There was no electricity for miles.

Now you have to get past a six-foot gate and fence guarded around the clock by police. That was the result of burglars a few weeks back, who probably reasoned that the Obamas would have a bit of cash about the place. Mama Sarah has a solar panel for her TV and last week, the Kenyan prime minister Raila Odinga (a Luo tribemate of Obama) dropped by for a “surprise” visit. This week government bulldozers and roadrollers have been brought in to smooth out the dirt track leading to the Obama homestead.

Today’s press conference there was a slightly muted affair. Malik, Obama’s elder half-brother, spoke to only about a dozen or so journalists about plans for the days ahead and the family’s exitement.

There have already been a few changes in Kogelo. And it’s only going to get more hectic from here.
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From Rob's blog post November 4, 2008:

The Only McCain Supporter in Kenya

Basically, this guy gets it if Obama wins. He’s going to be the celebration feast.

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